Nvidia gets China's go-ahead for $6.9 billion Mellanox deal

FILE PHOTO: A NVIDIA logo is shown at SIGGRAPH 2017 in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 31, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Reuters) - U.S. chip supplier Nvidia Corp said on Thursday Chinese authorities had approved its $6.9 billion acquisition of Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies Ltd, overcoming the last obstacle for the deal announced over a year earlier.

Mellanox shares rose nearly 2% in afternoon trading, while Nvidia jumped about 4%.

Many acquisitions between U.S. and international companies with significant operations in China have faced challenges in securing approval from the country’s regulator due to a bitter trade war between the two largest economies of the world that started in January, 2018.

Two years ago, U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc had to walk away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval.

Nvidia, known for its powerful gaming graphics chips, wants to bolster its data center and artificial intelligence business through the Mellanox takeover, its biggest deal, to better compete with rival Intel.

U.S. and EU antitrust authorities have already given their approval for the deal, which is expected to close before April 27, 2020.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli